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July 22 2018 | 8:13pm AET

Eight Armenians running for two seats in Iranian parliament

Source: Asbarez | Thursday, 25 February 2016
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The 8 Armenian candidiates running for the Iranian parliamentary positions. (Source: Horizon Weekly)

The 8 Armenian candidiates running for the Iranian parliamentary positions. (Source: Horizon Weekly)

TEHRAN (Public Radio of Armenia) — Eight Armenians will be running for two seats on the Iranian Parliament in the upcoming elections. Iran is set to hold parliamentary elections on February 26. The main rivalry is expected between the conservatives and the reformists.

Expert of Iranian studies Rudik Yaralyan expects no surprises. According to him, the Armenian community has always been conservative. Besides, the candidates previously represented in Majlis are more influential, he told reporters today.

Some of the candidates have the support of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. However, they fail to follow the ARF policy line. In particular, they could be more active on issues related to Nagorno Karabakh and Armenian Genocide.

“In my opinion, the time has not come for Iran to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Guided by this logic, they [Armenian MPs] refrain from submitting a bill. They see that the Russian-Iranian ‘alliance’ is doing its best to resist Turkey’s growing influence in the region. Therefore, it’s not ruled out that the issue of recognition of the Armenian Genocide may be brought into agenda,” the expert said.

Zhorzhik Abrahamyan and Karen Khanlaryan, both supported by ARF, are the two candidates most likely to be elected.

Speaking exclusively to Public Radio of Armenia, Khanlaryan said he is going to deepen and expand the existing political course, if elected. “The Armenia-Iran relations are at the spotlight, especially considering that the lifting of sanctions is opening up new perspectives for cooperation.”

Khanlaryan said they will try to raise the Armenian Genocide issue on higher podiums, and even Majlis, on the eve of April 24.

“Iran has no practice of condemning by law, the declarative approach is more common here,” he said.

It’s worth mentioning that the Armenian community is the only ethnic minority that has been allocated two seats in the Iranian Parliament.